Solar system provider Bboxx completed a round led by Mitsubishi. This year we have seen a revival of corporate-backed deals in the solar energy tech space, which registered a slowdown last year.
UK-based solar power system producer Bboxx closed a $50m series D round, which was led by diversified trading group Mitsubishi Corporation. The round also featured Engie Rassembleurs d’Energies, a sustainable energy access affiliate of energy utility company Engie. Engie Rassembleurs d’Energies is a returning corporate investor, which had already co-led the company’s $20m series C round. Impact investors Bamboo Capital Partners and Doen Participaties also took part in the transaction alongside growth equity firm MacKinnon and Bennett & Company (MKB).
Founded in 2010, Bboxx offers plug-and-play solar systems to customers across 35 developing nations, though the company’s primary focus is placed on Africa. The solar systems are equipped with appliances and work on a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) basis. It also develops a remote management system for use with larger solar energy projects as well as an electricity management platform for grid operators.
In recent years, we have seen that corporate-backed investments in the solar tech space have been somewhat erratic, according to our GCV Analytics data, as shown on the bar chart. The number of corporate-backed rounds reached a peak at 25 in 2017, with total estimated capital deployed in them at nearly $598m, only to plummet to three deals in 2018. However, for 2019, we have so far reported 13 rounds, worth a total of almost $971m, which indicates a revival of interest in such technologies with an accompanying rise in valuations.